Why should logos be simple

Discover how a ‘simple’ logo design can impact a business. 3 Main reasons why logo designs need to be simple.

May 5, 2023

Are you always hearing ‘logo designs need to be simple’ but wonder why if they also need to be unique? Have you taken some time to look at the logos of the most successful businesses today?

A logo design is an outfit for a business, which plays a huge part when it comes to first impression. Discover why a logo design needs to be simple, and how it can impact a business.

Recognised & Remembered

Timesquare ‘Logo Jungle’
Timesquare ‘Logo Jungle’

The world is a noisy place. Everyone is always trying to get your attention, but time is finite. Businesses are always trying to get your attention as much as they can through the use of their logo design.

Study shows that we see 4,000 - 10,000 logo designs per day. Thats insane right…

Amongst the thousands of logos seen daily, only a handful will be recognised. Complicated logo designs often leave someone confused as to what message is being communicated. where as simple logo design allows an individual to soak up all the information that is being seen as well as creating more curiosity.

In addition, as a result of recongnisable elements of a simple logo design, this creates a sense of familiarity with consumers. As thousands of logos are seen per day, it is more likely that a consumer will end up purchasing from the brand that they are familiar with.

How can they be familiar with 1 logo design when they have seen 10,000?

This is where the beauty of simplicity has an effect on the human mind. Simple things are easier to be remembered subconsciously over a long period of time. A good logo design is typically memorable, which is achieved by using simple shapes.

The term memorable, is used as to how well can the average person can re-create a logo  design when looking at it for 3 seconds, then turning away.

Consumers will feel more comfortable when purchasing from a brand they have seen over and over again, especially if the message (logo) is simple. Remember that a  logo design doesn’t have meaning straight away, however it takes many years for value to be installed into the logo design.

The Graph

I’ve created a grid below that highlights successful logos when it comes to being memorable and recognisable. Successful logo designs such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Nike and McDonalds, all have attributes of being memorable and recognisable.

However, companies such as GoDaddy, Balmain and US OPEN, tend to be recognisable but not memorable due to complicated elements used.

Typical geometric shapes are extremely memorable but not recognisable if businesses were to use them as their logo design without any customisation. This is because these shapes are extremely generic and used on a day-to-day basis.

Lastly, the bottom right of the grid contains logos that are some what…bad. The logo designs consist of scribbles and lack form. They typically look like drawings that arent really communicating anything. These designs fail because they are way to ‘unique’ and for anyone to become familiar with.

Memorable & Recognisable grid
Memorable & Recognisable grid

Audience Attraction

A clear cut message through a logo design can appeal to your audience.

A logo design is the first impression of a business. See it as almost an outfit for a company, that is rarely changed. A logo design can create instant attraction and curiosity if it resonates with the targeted individual - This is why strategy is so important.

Within a logo design, there are many things that need to be considered. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation. This concept is very important, and needs to be highly considered when creating a logo design for a specific audience.

Simple logo design removes complexity, which eliminates confusion.

This is why design isn’t art. Art is open to interpretation, where as design is an answer to a problem. Look at all the big brands around the world; Nike, Amazon, Apple and McDonalds. Simplicity is typically used to solve problems within logo design.

A targeted consumer may be more attracted to a logo design that is strategically catered to them. As mentioned, this can easily be done through a clear cut message.


‘Slap on logos’ are the best.

A logo design that works in any environment is good design. As businesses grow, they often tend to have an increased ranged of products/ services in which may represent their brand. Typically, their logo design is placed on all the of the products/ services later associated with the brand.

Logo designs that have been re-designed for a timeless aesthetic
Logo designs that have been re-designed for a timeless aesthetic

Simple logo designs are very functional. Additionally, simple designs tend to be timeless. As shown in the graph above, logo designs such as Dunkin, Go Daddy and US OPEN, have all been re-designed. These logos all had something in common - Recognisable but not Memorable.

Timeless design is a pinocle factor when creating a logo. Logo designs that are trendy instantly fail as logos need to be used by a business forever. Timeless logos are capable of working on everything, as it typically consists of unique geometric shapes.

Businesses are always growing, and need to be adaptable. The world is constantly developing so this means businesses should be prepared for the changes.


Apple is a brilliant example of this. Their first logo design was more of a painting in black and white. In 1977, Apple developed their logo into a completely, simple representational logo design - an apple. The logo design contained  the apple with 6 different colours. This represented the new era of digital/ colour technology. This concept worked at the time but was then changed 21 years later into a black silhouette of the apple.

This is a classic example of a business needing to change their logo design because of following trend. Luckily, Apple’s logo design was basically only changed once- from the painting like logo, to an apple. The silhouette was repeatedly used after, only with changes in colour. The iconic Apple logo is extremely functional as it can be placed on all their products and services.

Can you imagine how their first logo design would look in the world today…

Modern day iPhone with Apple’s first ever logo design
Modern day iPhone with Apple’s first ever logo design

In conclusion, simple logo designs are favourable for businesses and consumers. The world is bombarded with marketing noise. Consumers are forced to look at up to 10,000 logos per day.

A simple logo design allows consumers to remember and recognise brands. As humans typically tend to be drawn to what they are familiar with, this could ultimately lead to consumers purchasing from brands they are too familiar with.

This also is a  result of the right audience being attracted to a particular logo design. A simple logo design takes into consideration the targeted audience, and typically uses the study of semiotics in order to solve the problem.

Lastly, functionally plays a big part with logo design. Timeless design is crucial when solving problems as logos are made to last forever. Apple, is a great example of why simple logo design is compulsory.

Have a look at the most successful brands in the world. They either have very simple logos, or have a history of simplifying their logo into a complete timeless piece of design.